U.S. # 4741
2013 46¢ Sealed with Love
In the Victorian Era (1837 to 1901), letter writing was more than a means of communication. It was an art form and many books were published detailing the proper etiquette – from tone, to the color of the sealing wax, to the placement of stamps.
Many of these early guides cautioned against saying too much, yet also suggested writing with absolute feeling. Men were warned against complimenting their mates too much, as it would appear insincere. Likewise, women were expected to write in a guarded manner. Rather than closing a letter with, “love,” they often wrote simply, “ever your friend.”
While red is the color of love today, in the 1800s, it was blue. The shade of blue on a wax seal was used to represent the sender’s degree of emotion. Red was often used in letters between men, particularly about business.
Even the way a stamp was positioned on an envelope had meaning. An upside-down stamp in the left corner meant “I love you,” while crosswise in the same corner meant, “My heart is another’s.” If a stamp was placed next to the last name, depending on its orientation, it could mean, “Accept my love,” “I am engaged,” or “I long to see you.” Without one of these guides, a Victorian writer could easily write a beautiful letter, but offend, just by misplacing a postage stamp.
Louise Fili designed the 2013 Love stamp artwork by Jessica Hische. The stamp pictures an envelope fastened with a red seal bearing two hearts and an elegant filigree circle.
Value: 46¢ First-Class letter rate
Issued: January 30, 2013
First Day City: Loveland, CO
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Avery Dennison
Method: Photogravure printing in sheets of 120, with 6 panes of 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut ¾
Quantity Printed: 311,000,000 stamps
The popular and long-running Love Series was introduced in 1973 and has pictured a variety of images and symbols relating to romance. These have included hearts, roses, candy hearts, lovebirds, cherubs, and more. Sealed with Love is the 41st stamp in the series.